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United States

The Future of Shale

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Over the last ten years, the United States has become the world’s leading producer of oil and gas, going from energy import dependence to energy dominance. This shift is due to the ability to produce from shale plays, a story which started in Texas and grew to have global ramifications. In a new report, The Future of Shale: The US Story and Its Implications, Global Energy Center Senior Fellow Ellen Scholl looks at the factors which enabled the rise of oil and gas production from shale deposits, focusing on the developments which have transpired in Texas.
This Global Energy Center report examines the Texas experience to draw lessons learned for countries hoping to utilize their shale resource potential and implications for global energy markets and geopolitics. The report concludes that the US case illustrates the challenges of operating in both a rural and an urban environment, underscores the unique advantages of the enabling ecosystem in the country, and demonstrates the importance of size and scale.
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24
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The Future of Development Finance

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, November 5, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Growing anxiety about China’s dominance of emerging markets spurred a rare bipartisan effort to pass the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act of 2018. The BUILD Act delivers a needed overhaul of US development finance capabilities and commercial diplomacy by subsuming the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and other development finance agencies into a single, streamlined entity: The United States International Development Finance Corporation (USDFC). The USDFC will provide policymakers with new tools for supporting US commercial diplomacy and promoting US corporate success in fast-growing foreign markets, including equity and grant making capabilities.
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15
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The Uncertain Trends in the “Wars” on Terrorism

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Seventeen years after the start of the first major U.S. war on terrorism – and tens of thousands of casualties and more than two trillion dollars later – the U.S. still lacks a credible database on international terrorism. There is no common official database at the interagency level, there are deep disagreements over the size and success of given threats, and there are major gaps in coverage. Each “war” on terrorism has its own approach (and usually approaches) to estimating the threat and to judging what parameters are important. There are a wide range of databases outside the U.S. government, ranging from commercial efforts to academic and NGO assessments. They often sharply disagree, and many are clearly political or ideological in character. The closest thing to an official database is the one used by the U.S. State Department in its Country Reports on Terrorism and its Annex of Statistical Information. The report and annex provide an overview of the global trends in terrorism.
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103
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Superpartner: A US Strategy for a Complex World

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The Trump administration should not take up its work under the assumption that the United States, with only 5 percent of the world’s population and around a quarter of the world’s economy, can continue to be an indispensable presence on the world stage. America’s relative decline since 1945 seems to be a byproduct of the post-World War II system it created along with its allies and partners, in which the United States worked to bring millions out of poverty, give other nations incentives to strengthen their governance structures and institutions, and establish global norms of behavior. That effort sought to ensure no worldwide conflicts recurred. However, fostering an environment where states, groups, and individuals could be further empowered naturally eroded America’s once-monopolistic strength; the United States has brought humanity to a new era where many are powerful and many can potentially lead.
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9
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NATO and Trump

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Abstract in English: 
A turbulent security environment in Europe and strong rhetoric from President Trump have brought renewed attention to NATO, its role in dealing with shared security challenges, and the future of the United States’ relationship with its allies. Front and center are legitimate questions about commitments to defense burden sharing, as well as NATO’s role in counterterrorism. This serves an opportunity to renew the transatlantic security relationship. As part of the Atlantic Council’s project ‘A New Deal for NATO,’ NATO and Trump: The Case for a New Transatlantic Bargain provides pivotal insight and recommendations on how the United States and European allies can move forward to renew the transatlantic security and defense agenda, and make progress on these crucial areas, with the goal of bolstering our shared security.
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24
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Building a Better Future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, May 5, 2017
Abstract in English: 
To many Americans, the difficult issues facing Central America’s Northern Triangle—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—may seem distant. But the future of the United States is tied to these countries as some of our closest neighbors. Geography alone demonstrates that their stability and prosperity is critical to our national interest.
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52
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Repairing the U.S.-Israel Relationship

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Abstract in English: 
“The U.S.-Israel relationship is in trouble,” warn Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellows Robert D. Blackwill and Philip H. Gordon in a new Council Special Report, Repairing the U.S.-Israel Relationship. Significant policy differences over issues in the Middle East, as well as changing demographics and politics within both the United States and Israel, have pushed the two countries apart. Blackwill, a former senior official in the Bush administration, and Gordon, a former senior official in the Obama administration, call for “a deliberate and sustained effort by policymakers and opinion leaders in both countries” to repair the relationship and to avoid divisions “that no one who cares about Israel’s security or America’s values and interests in the Middle East should want.”
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59
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The Future of US Global Leadership Implications for Europe, Canada and Transatlantic Cooperation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Today’s global challenges are developing faster than ever as the world grows more interdependent. Advanced technologies are empowering individuals and organizations in new and unpredictable ways, creating new partnerships but also enabling the rise of new adversaries. A wide array of actors – from non-state groups to rogue states to revisionist powers – are testing these new tools. In parallel, the international system built in the second half of the 20th century is being challenged by emerging regional and global powers, while environmental and other transnational issues have become a determining factor in geopolitics. The resulting complexity and growing number of challenges have made the global security environment more difficult to navigate. It is in this context that the transatlantic relationship is evolving.
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20
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Public Predictions for the Future of Workforce Automation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Abstract in English: 
A majority of Americans predict that within 50 years, robots and computers will do much of the work currently done by humans – but few workers expect their own jobs or professions to experience substantial impacts.

From self-driving vehicles and semi-autonomous robots to intelligent algorithms and predictive analytic tools, machines are increasingly capable of performing a wide range of jobs that have long been human domains. A 2013 study by researchers at Oxford University posited that as many as 47% of all jobs in the United States are at risk of “computerization.” And many respondents in a recent Pew Research Center canvassing of technology experts predicted that advances in robotics and computing applications will result in a net displacement of jobs over the coming decades – with potentially profound implications for both workers and society as a whole.
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12
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Defense Modernization Plans through the 2020s

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Since the enactment of the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, much attention has been paid to the near-term effects of budgetary constraints on national defense. What has received less attention are the looming budgetary challenges defense faces beyond the BCA budget caps and the Defense Department’s five-year budget planning horizon. Many weapons programs will be at or near their peak years of funding requirements at roughly the same time in the 2020s, creating a modernization bow wave. Just as a large bow wave slows a ship by diverting its energy, carrying a large modernization bow wave is a drag on defense because it leads to program instability and inefficient procurement practices that weaken the buying power of defense dollars.

This report details the plans for major acquisition programs over the next fifteen years and explores the complicating factors that may make the situation more problematic for policymakers. It analyzes a range of options to mitigate the bow wave, including increasing the budget, cutting additional force structure, and making trades among major acquisition programs. The report finds that while none of the choices available are easy, it provides an opportunity for the new administration taking office in 2017 to better align modernization plans with defense strategy.
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42
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